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10-Step SaaS Content Marketing Guide

In the increasingly competitive software as a service (SaaS) industry, companies need to leverage content marketing to stand out and attract prospects. An effective SaaS content marketing strategy can increase brand awareness, reduce customer churn, and most importantly, drive more qualified organic traffic to your website.

According to a survey by Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates over three times as many leads. Clearly, SaaS companies that aren’t tapping into content marketing are missing out on a huge opportunity for sustainable growth.

So what exactly is SaaS content marketing and why should you invest in it?

SaaS content marketing refers to creating and promoting valuable, relevant and consistent content to engage prospects and customers at every stage of their buyer’s journey. The goal is to build authority and trust for your brand while moving leads down the sales funnel.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through a 10-step approach to develop a high-impact SaaS content marketing strategy that boosts organic traffic and conversions.

Let’s get started with understanding why SaaS content marketing should be a key component of your overall growth strategy.

Table of Contents

Why SaaS Companies Need Content MarketingSaaS Content Marketing

There are many compelling reasons why SaaS companies should prioritize content marketing, including:

Increases Brand Awareness and Credibility

Content marketing, especially SEO content marketing focused on rankings, significantly improves brand visibility and authority. According to statistics from Backlinko, ranking on the first page of Google can increase site traffic by an average of 514%. This surge in organic traffic exposes your brand to more of your target audience.

Having a strong presence for your important keywords also establishes your SaaS company as a thought leader and go-to authority in your industry. This makes your product seem more trustworthy and credible.

Showcases New Product Features and Updates

Your blog and other content assets provide the ideal medium to discuss new features, product updates, software improvements and more. This helps demonstrate continued innovation and gives existing customers more incentive to stick with your SaaS platform.

For example, project management tool ClickUp showcases all their latest feature releases on a dedicated website section to keep users engaged.

Maximizes ROI from Marketing Spend

Unlike paid advertising channels where you only get returns while the campaigns are running, content marketing results can persist for extended periods. For instance, an evergreen guide created by your SaaS company can continue attracting leads even years after initial publication.

This makes content marketing extremely cost-effective, delivering huge ROI with less overhead than other marketing tactics. With a limited budget, SaaS startups can leverage owned media channels to punch above their weight.

Guides More Leads Towards Conversion

Strategically integrating calls-to-action (CTAs) into various content formats and natively highlighting your product’s value proposition guides more prospects further into the sales funnel.

The organic traffic from SEO gains and word-of-mouth also converts better compared to paid traffic sources. So more eyeballs on your content means higher sales qualified lead generation.

This covers some of the key reasons why SaaS companies should embrace content marketing as part of their overall customer acquisition and retention strategies. Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on any of the points or modify something!

What Makes SaaS Content Marketing Different

While content marketing is important for all types of businesses, developing a strategy specifically for SaaS comes with its unique nuances, including:

Long Sales Cycles Require Defined Funnel Strategy

SaaS products often involve long and complex sales processes with multiple decision makers evaluating several options. This makes having clearly defined content tailored to each funnel stage critical.

Without stage-specific content, you risk prospects falling out of the pipeline due to lack of continuous engagement. Mapping content to the awareness, consideration, evaluation and decision cycle is key.

Must Continuously Provide Value to Retain Subscribers

As SaaS relies on recurring subscription revenue streams, customer retention and loyalty is vital for achieving profitability. This means your content machine cannot stop once leads convert to customers.

In fact, post-sales content production becomes even more crucial for delivering value and minimizing subscriber churn through helpful educational materials.

Need to Address Buyer Hesitation Around Intangible Product

Unlike physical products that customers can see and touch, SaaS tools are digital – you cannot physically experience them pre-purchase. This intrinsic intangibility increases buyer hesitation and fear around making the wrong choice.

Content that directly addresses common concerns, objections and questions around your SaaS functionality helps overcome this hesitation and builds trust.

SEO is Crucial Given Online Nature of Business

Considering SaaS companies operate exclusively online, SEO becomes non-negotiable. Appearing prominently on search engines like Google helps your brand get discovered by prospects proactively looking for solutions exactly like your product.

Optimizing content for buyers actively searching high-volume keywords can deliver significant organic traffic and conversions.

Building Trust and Credibility is Vital Amidst High Competition

The SaaS ecosystem already has thousands of companies vying for customer attention in every category. Breaking through the clutter to establish your brand as a trusted leader is pivotal for growth.

Content marketing done right makes that achievable through demonstrated domain expertise rather than just promotional advertising. Educational content earns mindshare rather than having to buy it.

Here are 10-Step SaaS Content Marketing strategy to grow your Organic Traffic

Step 1: Define Your Content Marketing Goals

saas content marketing

Before developing a SaaS content strategy, you need crystal clarity on what you aim to achieve through your investment in owned media channels. Concretely defining your content marketing goals is step one.

Identify Relevant Objectives

Start by listing out potential business objectives that original, valuable content can help fulfill, such as:

  • Improve organic search rankings
  • Drive more website traffic
  • Generate more qualified leads
  • Nurture prospects towards conversions
  • Reduce customer churn
  • Build brand awareness in-market

Ensure your objectives are specific, tied to relevant KPIs and have a reasonable scope for content contribution.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

With your set of objectives, transform each one into a S.M.A.R.T. goal that content can deliver on:

Specific Measurable Achievable
Relevant Time-bound

For example:

Objective: Improve organic search rankings

S.M.A.R.T Goal: Achieve first page ranking for 10 high-priority keywords related to our SaaS product within the next 6 months through content optimization.

Establish Tracking KPIs

Finally, define key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure how successful your content strategy is in moving these goals.

Relevant examples include:

  • Number of site visitors from organic search
  • Growth in monthly site traffic
  • Number of form fills for demos, trials, etc.
  • Lower customer churn rate
  • Improved domain and page authority metrics

Track these KPIs on a structured schedule to benchmark, assess and optimize content marketing performance.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Customer Profile

Now that your goals are defined, the next step is gaining crystal clarity on who you are creating content for – your ideal customer profile.

Determine Demographics and Psychographics

Analyze existing high-value customers and find common patterns in terms of:

Demographics:

  • Firmographic data (industry, size, revenue, etc.)
  • Individual data (role, title, seniority level, etc.)
  • Geographic location

Psychographics:

  • Values, interests and priorities
  • Business challenges and pain points
  • Stage in buyer’s journey
  • Content consumption preferences

These insights allow you to pinpoint exactly who your various content formats should resonate with.

Conduct In-Depth Market Research

Go beyond basic attributes and dig deeper into what motivates your best customers through:

  • Surveys: Distribute questionnaires to further understand needs.
  • Interviews: Directly engage via calls or in-person discussions.
  • Focus Groups: Uncover insights from group discussion dynamics.

Ongoing research helps refine your personas over time as new trends and challenges emerge.

Analyze Competitors and Adjacent Markets

Research who key competitors and companies in adjacent spaces are successfully targeting today. Look for gaps or underserved groups you can capture.

Reverse engineer exactly what content compelled them towards your rivals and either improve on it or tailor it to your unique strengths.

Step 3: Select the Right Content Typessaas content marketing

With your goals set and target audience clearly defined, the next step is determining what kinds of content you will invest in creating.

Align formats to the customer journey stage and preferences revealed through your research. Here are some proven SaaS content types to consider:

Long-Form Blog Posts

In-depth, extensively researched blog articles targeting high-volume keywords should form the backbone of your content marketing flywheel.

Optimized to rank highly on SERPs, blog posts bring in relevant organic traffic that converts better due to the trust built through educational guidance.

Ecommerce platform Shopify is renowned for their blog content quality, with remarkable search visibility.

Short-Form Social Video

Creative, bite-sized videos under 60 seconds resonate brilliantly on social media, especially Instagram Reels and TikTok now.

Higher entertainment quotient presents an opportunity to reach and engage segments harder to capture with purely functional blog posts.

HubSpot frequently experiments with educational video content adapted for different platforms.

Lead Generation Ebooks/Guides

Produce extended guide-style content in the form of eBooks, kits or playbooks and offer them in exchange for lead contacts like email or LinkedIn.

For example, SEMrush publishes comprehensive guides covering their domain which they utilize to fuel their inbound engine.

There are certainly other options, but master these three formats first for SaaS content marketing success. Mix and match to map across the customer journey for maximum impact.

Step 4: Effective Keyword Research

The foundation of impactful content is targeting keywords and topics that your potential customers are actively searching for during their buying journeys. Robust keyword research is step four in crafting your SaaS content marketing machine.

Leverage Paid Tools Like Ahrefs

While free alternatives like Google’s Keyword Planner exist, investing in paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush delivers far more filtering capability, search volume accuracy and related keyword suggestions.

The depth of data helps surface hidden gems you can target for easy wins ranking highly with quality content.

Start with Low Difficulty Keywords

If just starting out with content and SEO, pick shorter tail keywords like “project management” that likely have lower competition at first.

This allows you to steadily build Domain Authority and page rankings before graduating to harder terms like “agile project management approaches”.

Include Secondary Keywords in Posts

Ensure content centers around a primary keyword target but interweave related secondary terms throughout the body copy.

This strengthens individual pages and over time builds collections around valuable topics driving relevant organic traffic.

Match Copy to Searcher Intent

Always tailor your post topic, headers and content to align with the intent of search queries for that keyword.

If seekers want comparisons, deliver authoritative evaluations. For how-to queries, provide tactical tips and step-by-step advice.

Step 5: Define Your Success Metrics

With your content marketing machine now primed through previous foundational steps, establishing metrics to grade performance is pivotal.

Align key performance indicators back to the specific goals set so you can monitor progress.

Measure Lead Generation Impact

If a key objective was generating more sales qualified leads, track metrics like:

  • New newsletter subscribers from content
  • Demo requests from gated assets
  • Free trial signups from featured calls-to-action

Compare these to acquisition costs from other channels like paid ads to quantify the value delivered via owned media.

Monitor Organic Search KPIs

Given SEO ranking objectives, key metrics to continually track include:

  • Number of search impressions
  • Click-through-rates on rankings
  • Overall domain authority trends
  • Ranking movements for target keyword list

Use tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs and Google Search Console to pull this data.

Analyze Traffic Growth Rates

Since driving site visitors was likely a goal, keep a pulse on metrics like:

  • Overall site visitor growth month-to-month
  • Traffic contributions from organic search vs. other channels
  • Site referral traffic gains quarter-by-quarter

Factor out paid advertising efforts from pure content results.

Consistently analyzing a tailored set of KPIs is crucial for optimizing content marketing performance. Next we’ll discuss mapping out an effective editorial calendar…

Step 6: Map Out an Editorial Calendarsaas content marketing

With the groundwork set through previous steps, now transition focus to execution by mapping out an editorial calendar.

This involves laying out a structured content development plan and establishes crucial coordination across your team – from writers to reviewers.

Organize Blog Topics and Titles

Catalog target keywords surfaced during the research phase and brainstorm catchy, high-converting titles that optimally blend SEO opportunities with compelling messaging.

Cluster these into relevant overarching themes and sequence in logical order.

Define Content Formats

Attach proposed formats based on customer preferences, creative opportunities and production bandwidth. Determine ideal word counts and section structures.

Balance long-form cornerstone content with faster short-form experiments.

Set Clear Development Milestones

Keep your team aligned by outlining distinct milestones in each piece’s development journey – from first drafts to final approvals.

Account for research, writing, editing, graphic design, reviews and revisions in timeline.

Assign Roles and Responsibilities

Designate point persons across essential functions – author, editor, graphics, promoter, etc.

Enable specialization across the content supply chain while preserving continuity through oversight.

Step 7: Distribute Content Across Channels

Creating remarkable content is meaningless unless it reaches your target audience. Step 7 covers amplifying content distribution across the right mix of channels – owned, earned and paid.

Leverage Owned Media Assets

Distribute natively through websites, product blogs, newsletters, help portals, co-branded partner assets and other owned entities.

Repackage content into new derivative formats fit for specific channels – like short summaries with call-to-actions for email.

Earn Relevant Third-Party Placements

Pitch and provide guest posts for industry publications, tools and platforms frequented by your personas.

Contribute comments and perspective for coverage instead of blatant ad-style promotion.

Experiment with Paid Social and PPC

Consider testing small budgets on high-alignment social media and pay-per-click search campaigns to evaluate reach.

The goal is discovering untapped audiences and secondary topics worth investing in more heavily.

Monitor engagement metrics like click-through rates to identify the best performing content assets and channels.

Step 8: Execute and Continuously Optimize

saas content marketing

With your content marketing roadmap set, shift focus towards effective execution and iteration of the editorial calendar from Step 6.

Provide Guidelines and Templates

Reduce duplicate efforts and preserve quality by providing clear guidelines to support external or distributed content development.

Share examples of existing high-performance posts and templates outlining required sections, formats and key messages.

Set Expectations Through an Editorial Review Process

Prevent output misalignment by establishing a multi-step process involving drafting, primary review, revision, secondary approval, formatting and final signoff gates prior to publishing.

Schedule touchpoints for fact checks and messaging tightening by subject matter experts like leadership, product and customer success teams according to their specializations.

Regularly Refresh Older Content

Search algorithms favor fresh, updated content. Revisit older guides and infuse new statistics, recommendations and trend analyses or ancillaries while preserving core flow and sections.

Introduce links to new related content published since the first version further enhancing relevance.

Optimization is an ongoing exercise – next we discuss monitoring key metrics to fuel improvement.

Step 9: Monitor Performance and Iterate

The proof lies in the pudding. Track content marketing results based on the KPIs established in Step 5. Analyze metrics to find what works and what requires additional optimization.

Configure Tracking Across Key Platforms

Connect websites, blogs, social media accounts, email services, etc. to web analytics tools like Google Analytics and aggregate data.

This provides a unified dashboard to monitor engagement across channels – both owned and earned media.

Identify Your Best and Worst Performers

Pull reports assessing metrics like pageviews, time on site, bounce rates, links and more. Filter to categorize content assets based on success level.

Diagnose patterns around higher performing pieces. Is a specific format resonating better? Does a certain content length work?

Survey Customers on Content Needs

Go beyond digital body language signals and directly ask customers key questions on what challenges they face, what questions they have and what formats they prefer through quick pulse surveys.

Incorporate findings into new content planned through continually refining your editorial calendar.

Make Data-Driven Optimization Decisions

Let insights guide decisions on whether more beginner’s guides are needed versus intermediate posts based on traffic sources. Determine top performing channels warranting additional investment.

Continual improvement is key to staying atop the SaaS content marketing game.

Step 10: Embrace New SaaS Marketing Trends

saas content marketing

Modifying or reinventing components of your content marketing strategy based on emerging channels, formats and platforms is vital for sustainable success.

New trends open fresh avenues to connect with your addressable market by catering to their ever-evolving consumption habits.

Conduct Competitor Content Audits

Reverse engineer what rival brands are experimenting with – whether podcasts, TikTok videos or leveraging influencer partnerships – and brainstorm whether it can be uniquely tailored to resonate with personas you target.

Digest Insights from Blogs and Communities

Stay on pulse of latest platform algorithm shifts, device consumption trends and emergent best practices by subscribing to authoritative blogs, participating in niche communities and reading updates published directly by networks like Facebook, Instagram and Google.

Pilot-Test New Content Ideas

Be nimble in repurposing existing evergreen content into new formats that align to rising channel popularity – for example short-form summary sequences for Stories and Reels or interactive polls and sticker Q&As.

Experiment with guest contributors to expand topical breadth. Carefully monitor performance indicators and audience feedback to double down on successes.

Remaining flexible and adapting over time prevents your SaaS content machine from turning stale.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Through this comprehensive 10-step blueprint, we walked through crucial elements of building a high-performance content marketing machine for your SaaS business to drive more organic traffic.

Let’s quickly recap:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Understand your target customer
  3. Select the right content formats
  4. Conduct keyword research
  5. Set performance metrics
  6. Map out an editorial calendar
  7. Distribute across channels
  8. Continuously optimize content
  9. Analyze metrics and iterate
  10. Stay on top of emerging trends

The proven framework stresses getting clarity on objectives, investing in creation of valuable content tailored to what your personas seek and distributing creatively across both owned and external channels.

Tracking real impact through defined KPIs makes periodic optimization and innovation possible through an iterative feedback loop.

Sustainable organic growth ultimately stems from consistently providing educational, relevant and fresh content nimbly tuned based on signals from data and trends in the ecosystem.

To accelerate outcomes, you can engage specialist SaaS content marketing consultants like HubSpot, Kapost and IMPACT who offer complementary skills, access to top creative talent and best practices derived from running thousands of programs.

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